Posted on August 31, 2019
Summer in South Florida is hot, and this year has recorded some of the hottest temperatures. I, for one, am very grateful for air conditioning. As I get older the more I am wanting cooler weather. I feel like we should be watching the issue of climate change more and more.
That said, I had a free Friday and decided to take a long overdue walk in the wetlands. Between being sick, working like crazy to pull together some major changes, and having traveled a significant amount already this year, I found I really did not have the time or the desire to go to the hot, humid wetlands. But this Friday I did. I woke up early and headed out before 8am. OK, for some that is not early but for me on a Friday on my day off from work it is. Knowing that I was going to spend the rest of my day off working, I headed out. Did I say it was hot?? Freaking hot really. By the time I got back to the car I was dripping wet and dehydrated, despite the bottle of water I carried.
Here are a few of my favorites from the walk.
As you can see, not a lot of bird life. I think they left the wetlands at 7:45 am to find some shade 🙂 Truthfully, until the weather cools down a bit, I may hold off walking in the wetlands. We have had rain every day for the past 4 weeks and that just pushes the humidity levels up so much higher. I am wilting!
Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This is a circle blog. Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. Mindy Sauvageau is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.
Posted on August 26, 2019
I have been to Viscaya at least 3 times before. It is a place I can go visit and never see everything. Each time I go back I see something different. This month Daniel was car hunting, and so he and Amy were going down to Miami to look and see what they could find. Amy asked if I would like to go to Viscaya since they was down there and I was happy to. Welcome to the home of John Deering, Viscaya.
Born in 1859, in Maine, James Deering, retired in his mid fifties. Due to health reasons, James Deering decided to build his home in South Florida. It was hoped that the warm, sunny climate would improve his health. And so in 1910 began the plans to build his new home. James Deering, from everything I have seen was an interesting man and one I think I would have enjoyed having a conversation with. In 1952, Viscaya was transferred to the county and opened as a historic property well worth visiting.
As you walk around the opulent house and beautiful grounds one thing that stands out is that there is a number of influences and from what I have read he was fascinated by travel, legends and mythology. Neptune is seen around the house and very much in the gardens.
The house is rich with beautiful timeless pieces that illuminate the surroundings and the stunning wall hangings.
The ceilings match the opulence of the home and the walls reflect the very South Florida look.
Ornate edgings and beautiful doors are just a part of this beautiful domed walkway.
Heading up the stairs we came across stunning stained glass doors that have stood through the ages.
In corners and domed display areas you will find statues of interest ranging from local to international, of people or of mythology.
There are decadent sitting rooms rich with drapes and ornamental objects on display.
As we pass by a window we got a view of just a small portion of Viscaya’s beautiful gardens that lead up to a pavilion area. But beyond these gardens to the left and right are more gardens, and this time I spent time exploring those gardens.
This is a bed that little girls dream of and in James Deering’s house, many guests stayed in. Life, from what I have read, was spent in Viscaya over the winter months, very often with family or guests.
This stair case is a favorite of mine and as much as I try to lean as far over I can never quite get the full spiral.
Having explored the upstairs we went down and decided to venture out into the hot hot summers day of South Florida.
There is some beautiful stain glass windows just before you go outside and I love the view you get of the gardens through them.
We are outside and you are seeing just a portion of the house that faces the Bay of Biscayne.
To the right, by way of a pathway, and over a bridge stand a beautiful portico. A favorite spot for photographers taking wedding pictures, or Quinceañera, for the 16 year old Spanish girls birthdays.
To the left another bridge that appeared to go down to a set of steps where perhaps guest stepped onto a boat. Since the last time I was down here this area has been badly damage, I can only assume, by one of the hurricanes that has passed over this area.
My understanding was that the barge was built as a break water structure. That said history has it that James Deering and his guest would be ferried by boat or gondola to the barge for afternoon tea and at times cocktails.
A large part of the estate is built with coral and you will see this throughout the gardens.
Beautiful ponds of water lilies are visible as well.
Lining the walkways are a series of statues
And again you see the influence of international travel with the sphinx typically found in Egypt.
There is beautiful color in the gardens and whenever, I see Anthurium I am reminded of my mother. She loved this beautiful waxy looking flower, and while my father grew orchids, below them he grew Anthurium for my mother.
I have walked these gardens many times but this was the first time I really looked more closely at these statues. Shown here were mermen holding pots on their shoulders while being overseen by driver.
Reflections depict that which is above, and this statue with all its glory, has two interestingly strange looking lions at the top.
We walk up the side steps to a beautiful pavilion, which back in the day was known to James Deering’s guests as the casino. From the top of the pavilion there are levels of this beautiful terraced waterfall and on either side a series of steps.
To the left and right are secluded areas not unlike a small atrium. The inside was built with coral and, in its hey day, this appeared to be a fountain with seating to either side of it.
On the outside of the area were statues of mermen and mermaids, almost guarding those that entered in.
Beyond the steps more ponds with water lily and on occasions I have spotted a great big frog.
This was probably my favorite image of Amy and Daniel. They took a fun one just before of them on either side of the pillared portico. I asked them to stand together for this one. Granted by now we were all beyond hot and sweaty.
As we are walking back to the house there is a water fountain with frogs and iguana at the edges of it. This was not the frog that I saw in the pond either but the size does not seem far off it. Just joking. I loved how the water drops float across the image.
If you are heading to Miami, and who doesn’t want to go to Miami at some point in the visit to Florida, take some time out in your visit to stop by Viscaya. In fact, take a few hours to go through the house and the property. Winter is probably a better time to do it but whichever time you go, know that you are in for a blast into the past, and a treat that will keep you looking and wishing you could have seen everything in one visit. I know that some day in the future I will visit Viscaya for a 5th time. I don’t think it will ever grow “old” for me despite the age and time period of this beautiful building. I hope that you enjoyed taking a walk with us.
Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog. We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, making us now 15 bloggers, and so I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal of Crystal Bella Photography, and see what she has for you this month. I am pretty excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world. I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.
Posted on July 31, 2019
I will start out by saying Happy Summer and advise you that this is going to be a long post. I’m sorry but this place warrants it, for me. As you will recall were were in San Antonio in April and I wanted to share this day before moving on to New York blogs.
The last day in San Antonio, I managed to convince Richard that we needed to go and visit the missions. Now I will tell you that looking at old buildings is not Richard’s favorite past time. I on the other hand, love history, old buildings and anything genealogical. I mentioned it before but it is worth mentioning again, the bus system in San Antonio is fantastic. We got around pretty easily. I had listed 3 missions to visit; Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission San Jose Church, and Mission Concepcion. If you are interested in doing this trip, just be prepared to make it a day trip so that you can take time to appreciate the essence of each mission. Make sure to take lots of water especially if you are in the summer months.
Each one was unique and well worth visiting, in my opinion. However, the one I really enjoyed the most was Mission San Jose Church. This mission is known as the Queen of the Missions. You will see why as you read through the blog.
As you enter Mission San Jose, you get the sense of being part of something so old and so historic. In February 23, 1720 Mission San Jose was founded by Father Antonio Margil.
These missions were founded to secure the land, and to be able to teach Christianity and its way of life to the local Indians. These Indians were the Coahuiltecan Indians, a small band of Native American Indians that lived in the Rio Grand Valley. This tribe of Indians was seriously diminished by disease such as smallpox, and of course, slavery.
The inside of the outer wall, we found a number of doorways. The outer wall was thick enough to build housing for around 350 Indians.
The buildings included rooms for guests, officers, a place to eat and a pantry area.
As I walked along the pathway I wondered how long, and how many people it took to build this incredible building.
In 1768, a church was built using local limestone. This church is still an active church today and Order of Friars Minor, a Catholic order, staffs the church.
In 1794, the property was given to the Indians and in 1824 the missions activities ended. The photo below shows the entrance gates into the mission grounds.
When I researched the various sights to see, I remember seeing and being fascinated with the beauty of the arches in this building.
In 1932, the buildings were repaired and restored. The walls, quarters and bastion were restored. The granary was also repaired and restored. In 2001 the gristmill was opened
I was able to walk into a small chapel in my wanderings around. It was simple and peaceful. As was the bench outside.
Below, this window is known as the Rose Window. History would have us believe that there were two possibilities to the naming of this ornate window. The first was that the window was possibly named after the creators girlfriend who, when traveling from Spain, tragically died at sea. The other possibility was that the window was named after the first Saint of the new world, Saint Rose of Lima. The craftsman however, is not known, although it is thought that he could be Pedro Huizar. This window is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture.
The tile in the image above is apparently the original tile, although somewhat faded and damaged.
While I have tried to research the significance of these two crosses, I have not found the answer.
We meandered to the back of the church and came across the granary and the grist mill, both equally interesting.
The granary was also repaired and restored. If you are interested in reading more about the granary and the grist mill reconstruction you can do so here.
There is these mini aqueducts through the garden carrying the water to the mill.
Once again we headed back to walk along the side wall heading out of the mission. I came across some interesting areas that just caught my eye.
Inside this glass casing was a miniature replica of the entire Mission San Jose.
This stunning Queen of the Missions became the showplace of the Southwest. I can certainly believe this. Its rough beauty is unparalleled to anything I have seen. If you are in San Antonio, stop by and visit this beautiful mission.
As I said, it is a long post. There were just so many corners and arches and places to visit.
Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This is a circle blog. Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. Beth’s Photoblog is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.
Posted on July 29, 2019
30 Minutes of fireworks. These were taken on the 4th July at a local park. We had some friends visiting Florida and since it was their first 4th of July as US residents we decided to celebrate that with the fireworks.
This time of the year is mosquito time and I have to be honest I was dreading sitting outside in the humidity with mosquito’s feasting on me. I believe that mosquito’s think I am their food source. So I put on a pair of jeans, sneakers and a short sleeved shirt and took a sweater. Not fun being overdressed in the heat.
We found a spot on the edge of the lake and Richard and I friends walked around I watched the beautiful sunset. Before we knew it, it was time for the fireworks and before you knew it 15 minutes later it was over.
The little girls behind us thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks and every time one explored we heard shrieks coming from them. I did not think they would have voices the following morning.
I tried different settings for these images, trying fast and slow. Some I love and some were just okay. Here are a few for this month’s blog.
Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog. We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, making us now 14 bloggers, and so I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Ivana from MaMagare KidzPhoto, and see what she has for you this month. I am pretty excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world. I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.
Posted on June 30, 2019
It’s time to blog and I am sitting without a computer so I have pulled up some photo’s from last year that I had edited but not posted. Last year we did an impromptu trip to Maine. I happened to be chatting to my work colleague about how I needed to use up some vacation time but really hated wasting vacation time on a staycation. She told me she had a cottage in Maine that we were welcome to use. Having never been to Maine we jumped at the opportunity. We headed up late September. The weather overall, except for our whale watching trip, was fantastic. Not hot not too cold. The whale watching trip was bitterly cold out on the ocean, and it was foggy. We did not see whales, in fact we saw practically nothing.
If you read my blogs, you will know that when I travel I am a bit of a planner. I see very little point in going somewhere blind. Yes I know there is spontaneity in doing thing impulsively and I am game for that, but I also want to have some idea of what I want to see and have some kind of plan. If we don’t get to see it, all fine well, if we do and it is on my list, I am super happy. There is nothing worse for me arriving in a unknown place, as a co-pilot and trying to find where to go. Don’t ever asking me to do Amazing Race. GPS is my best friend.
On of the places on Richard’s list was to go up to Bar Harbor, and Arcadia National Park.
Here are a few of the images I have already edit. When I get to the rest I will have to come back and share them.
As we meandered up the coast we pulled into little towns that appeared to have places of interest or we just thought we would mosey on through.
Hopefully by my next blog I will have a working computer, but who knows. I pushed the button, hit send after a 3 hours self debate of was I ordering the right piece of equipment. That said it is now ordered and along with that a 34 inch monitor, so I cannot wait to play. I am just hoping that the tech guys will manage to transfer the data and images off my laptop, since I just realized that my San Antonio images were on there and I don’t think I have a disc with them on. Bummer if they are all gone.
Thank you for joining me on this very quick and impromptu trip along the Maine coastline. This is a circle blog so I would encourage you to visit my friend Mindy and see what she has for you this month.